Get breaking news alerts from myKhel

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X

Federer edges Cilic in thriller to win 20th grand slam title

After winning the Australian Open Roger Federer became the only man to win 20 Grand Slam titles.

Melbourne, January 28: Roger Federer clinched a 20th grand slam title and record-equalling sixth Australian Open with a thrilling five-set win over Marin Cilic in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Swiss great was pushed, for arguably the first time at the tournament, before sealing a 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory under a closed Rod Laver Arena roof.

Federer's win, secured in three hours and three minutes, saw him draw level with Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic on six Australian Open titles as he defended his crown.

The 20th grand slam title also saw Federer pull further clear of Rafael Nadal (16) atop that list.

In front of an adoring crowd, Federer gave up a break to lose the fourth set, but he steadied to edge past the fighting Croatian sixth seed in an enthralling decider.

Against an opponent he had beaten in eight of their previous nine meetings – including in last year's Wimbledon final – Federer was always a favourite and the 36-year-old would surely have welcomed the sight of a closed roof on a scorching hot day.

Legends on Federer

Instead, it was perhaps Cilic's nerves – and his wayward backhand – benefiting Federer the most early on.

Cilic narrowly escaped a break point thanks to a challenge before Federer was handed the perfect start, the Croatian framing an overhead into the net to give up his serve.

It was, at best, a nervous start by Cilic in his third grand slam final, as numerous errors gave Federer a 3-0 lead, an advantage the Swiss great was never going to give up.

Cilic settled as the opening set went on and he made his opponent work early in the second, Federer fired up after saving a second break point with a forehand winner.

Federer continued to push against the Cilic serve, forcing the 2014 US Open winner into tough holds in the third, fifth and ninth games, a gutsy second-serve ace helping during the latter.

Those gritty holds helped present Cilic a set point in the 10th game, but he tamely sent a backhand into the net.

However, Cilic recovered from a mini-break down in the tie-break as his forehand came up big, winners off that side seeing him to 3-3 and 6-4 before he sealed the set with an overhead.

Federer landed the first blow of the third set, breaking to 15 in the sixth game when Cilic sent a forehand wide, before he closed it out.

It seemed Federer would cruise to victory when he broke to open the fourth, but Cilic responded, breaking to love in the sixth game and taking a 5-3 lead with another forehand winner on his way to forcing a decider.

Federer, aided by an increasingly vocal crowd, had to save two break points to start the fifth set, suddenly needing a momentum shift having appeared in control earlier.

That arrived in the second game, a double fault and Cilic forehand into the net giving him the break, one he would build on to see out another historic win.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN Federer bt Cilic 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS Federer – 41/40 Cilic – 45/64

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS Federer – 24/4 Cilic – 16/5

BREAK POINTS WON Federer – 6/13 Cilic – 2/9

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE Federer – 57 Cilic – 68


TOTAL POINTS Federer – 152 Cilic – 128

Source: OPTA

For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

Story first published: Sunday, January 28, 2018, 17:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 28, 2018
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more